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The men who ruined 2013

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It wasn’t all guts, glory, champagne and strawberries. Michael Hogan recalls the chumps

Justin Bieber

Bieber Fever showed no sign of easing off this year. The Canadian pipsqueak had scraps with paps, wandered shirtless around airports, was so late on-stage his crying fans had gone to bed, and got his capuchin monkey (not a euphemism) confiscated by customs. He also “hoped Anne Frank would have been a Belieber”… as if the poor girl didn’t suffer enough.

James Arthur

The pea-headed X Factor winner proved his brain was in proportion to his skull in November by releasing a song online with homophobic bon mots such as “you f*cking queer”. Amid outrage, Arthur had a series of Twitterspats™, but picked opponents he was unlikely to beat in a battle of wits, including Frankie Boyle and Matt Lucas. He then cancelled public engagements due to ‘exhaustion’. When Olly Murs leaps to your defence, you know you’re in trouble.

Lance Armstrong

The sport of cycling and 80 million LiveStrong wristband-wearers worldwide got booted in the Lycra-clad groin last autumn when the seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of his titles for doping. The bullying control freak has spent most of 2013 trying to wrestle back his own narrative. The oily Texan gave his first interview to Oprah Winfrey in January and has since moaned about his “massive personal loss of wealth” (world’s smallest violin), claiming his life ban should be reduced, insisting he wants to tell his side of the sordid story. His cameo also ruined Dodgeball for us.

Ashley Young

The Manchester United winger already had a reputation for “going down easily”, but it’s rocketed off the scale this season. All an opponent has to do is give Young a dirty look and he tumbles to the turf, appealing for a penalty. His serial diving has made Young’s stock fall almost as fast as he does. When former boss Fergie gave him a blast of the hairdryer, Young probably got blown over.

Ylvis

Nope, not a typo of Elvis. We mean the Norwegian duo behind teeth-gnashingly annoying novelty hit The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?), AKA this year’s Gangnam Style. This is one fox that deserves to be mercilessly hunted and killed. What does the fox say? “Ouch”, hopefully.

Godfrey Bloom

Ukip is hardly full of bleeding-heart do-gooders, but its MEP Bloom takes the biscotti. This summer, he referred to “bongo bongo land” and dismissed feminism as “a passing fashion”. At the party conference, he referred to his female audience jokingly as “sluts”. Bloom’s protests that it was ledge bantz convinced no one and he lost the party whip. He reacted by hitting journalist Michael Crick over the head.

Iain Duncan Smith

In April, the Secretary Of State For Work & Pensions said he could live on £53 like a benefits claimant. Even a petition couldn’t make him try it. In August, he claimed the demand for food banks was just due to increased awareness. Leaked documents show IDS is now focusing on “how to make it harder for sick and disabled people to claim”. Nice guy.

(Image: Rex Features)

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